Stain or Seal New Deck?

I have a new house with a deck that's been sitting in the sun for about 7 months. It needs treatment desperately. Is it beter to stain (our preference is a semi-transparent color) or seal the raw wood with something like Thompson's water seal?
I know once we stain, we're committed to the color. However, if we seal, will the ability to stain in the future be hindered?
Thanks!
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Squanklin wrote:

Go to your local library and read the recent Consumers Report issue on deck treatments.
Hint: DO NOT use Thompson's Water Seal!
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Thanks. Do you remember the month it appeared?
Travis Jordan wrote:

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Squanklin wrote:

July 2006. Here's a quick highlight. http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/cu-press-room/pressroom/0607_eng_dec.htm
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wrote:

Quoting from that article:
<quote> For homeowners interested in having the most natural look, CR deemed the clear Olympic WaterGuard 55560, a latex that cleans up with water, as the best and only choice. </quote>
Does anyone know if this product is still available, and if so, where? I can't find it at the local Lowes, and http://www.ppg.com/ppgaf/olympic/exterior/pages/overview.html doesn't list it by this name.
I saw this problem the last time CR looked at deck treaments a few years back. All the highly rated finishes had been replaced, or reformulated, in the 3 years it took CR to do the real-life testing.
Terry
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Terry wrote:

I think PPG has only one 'WaterGuard' wood sealant product.
http://www.ppg.com/ppgaf/locator/locator1.asp
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wrote:

The page I reference above shows one product named "WaterGuard Wood", but shows 4 products that contain "WaterGuard protection". None of them are called "WaterGuard 55560", which is what CR references.
Even if they did only have 1 product, that doesn't mean it's the same product CR tested. Companies change their product lines all the time.
Terry
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Squanklin wrote:

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Stain doesn't really protect wood. You would still have to seal it.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Who told you that?
Deck stain (at least the deck stain products from reputable manufacturers like Cabot, Olympic, and Flood) effectively protects wood from water and sun damage.
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On 23 Jun 2006 13:08:11 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I disagree, any decent decking stain will seal. I used Cabot Decking stain and my deck is going on 15 years, looks good, no rotten boards yet!
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Deck stains also contain sealant. It's not like the sort of stain you might apply to furniture. That's why they're called "deck stain" and not just "stain" - that's the difference.
You can buy a sealant without stain, and that will protect against water but not sun damage. Deck stains have both sealant and UV protection.
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Solid stain will not be a problem.
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Lawrence wrote:

Who told you that?
Read the following link:
http://www.wrcea.org/cedar-products/cedar_decking/finishing_cedar_decks/overview.htm
"If there is uncertainty over whether to use a water-repellent preservative or a stain, first apply a water-repellent preservative. It is possible to switch to a semi-transparent stain when the deck needs to be refinished. Even if the deck has been maintained with a water-repellent preservative for many years, an oil-based semi-transparent stain will perform satisfactorily."
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wrote:

Sure you will. The transparent sealer weathers off in less than a year especially horizontal surfaces exposed to a lot of sun.
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What is the deck made of? For woods like mahogany, ipe, cypress, etc, I'd use Penofin oil. If it is pressure treated, I'd use some sort of colored stain
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Squanklin wrote:

The deck is 7 months old and it "needs treatment desperately" ???
What is it made of, cardboard?
Seriously, if your deck is desperate after only 7 months I'd be concerned about the quality of the wood.

http://www.wrcea.org/cedar-products/cedar_decking/finishing_cedar_decks/overview.htm
"If there is uncertainty over whether to use a water-repellent preservative or a stain, first apply a water-repellent preservative. It is possible to switch to a semi-transparent stain when the deck needs to be refinished. Even if the deck has been maintained with a water-repellent preservative for many years, an oil-based semi-transparent stain will perform satisfactorily."
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Not having new wood not treated for the first part of its life, if I recall correctly, is actually a good thing. Don't forget to hit it with the sander first ((I'm assuming it's not pressure treated) to open up the pores.
I've had considerable success with Sikkens Cetol 1-2-3. Lasts more than one year and touch ups are only a one coat affair over what is there.
Good luck
My two cents: As I get older, the deck is going to be ripped out and replaced with a stone patio. When I think back over all the work done to try and keep the deck looking good, I shudder and get a little older!!

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edee em wrote:

That used to be the conventional wisdom. But it seems that advice has changed in recent years, at least according to some of the on-line home-improvement websites.
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wrote:

The semi-transparent stain will protect from UV rays better than any clear water seal, plus the stain will last a lot longer. Cabot Decking stain is a good choice, in a dozen colors, about $30 a gallon, and their website will tell you where you can purchase it locally. When you stain, coat the end-grain well. You will need to re-stain every 3-5 years.
Thompson's seal is poor with long-term protection, although better than nothing at all.
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